A Medical Device Daily

EpiCept (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey) last week filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock potentially raising up to $75 million.

The number of shares offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined. All shares will be sold by EpiCept.

EpiCept is a specialty pharma company developing topically delivered prescription pain therapeutics.

The company has various products — including a variety of patch systems — in clinical development for the treatment of various types of pain. Three are ready to enter, or have entered, pivotal Phase IIb or Phase III clinical trials, it said.

Patch products being developed by Epicept include the LidoPain BP (back pain) Patch designed to produce sustained topical delivery of the local anesthetic lidocaine; LidoPain SP (surgical pain patch), a sterile wound bandage or patch which provides controlled release of anesthetic to a post-surgical wound or post-traumatic wound while providing a sterile, protective covering for the wound; LidoPain TV, a topical patch for the treatment of tinnitus and vertigo, used at a periauricular (behind the ear) region releasing doses of local anesthetics into retrograde nerve sections; and LidoPain HM, a topical patch, applied at the forehead, for treatment of migraine.

NDO Surgical (Mansfield, Massachusetts) reported closing a $15 million private equity financing. NDO said it would use the proceeds to support expanded commercialization of its Full-Thickness Plicator System, an endoscopic system used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

With the Plicator, the procedure is designed to restore the normal anti-reflux barrier via an outpatient procedure. One-year clinical outcomes data presented at the recent Digestive Disease Week conference demonstrated that 70% of patients treated with the Plicator remained off PPI prescription medications, NDO reported.

Versant Ventures led the round, which included investments from Polaris Ventures and previous investor Menlo Ventures.

Kevin Wasserstein, of Versant Ventures, called the Plicator System “a breakthrough, non-surgical treatment alternative for the millions of GERD sufferers worldwide.“

With the funding, Wasserstein and Ross Jaffe, also of Versant Ventures, and Terry McGuire of Polaris Ventures will join the NDO Surgical board.

In other financing news:

• CABG Medical (Minneapolis) said that the underwriters of the company's recent initial public offering (IPO) of its common stock have exercised in full their over-allotment option to purchase an additional 825,000 shares of the company's common stock at $5.50 a share, raising more than $4.5 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions.

The company's initial offering raised $30.25 million via sale of 5.5 million shares at $5.50 each (Medical Device Daily, Dec. 9, 2004).

CABG Medical is developing drug-eluting technologies and therapies to improve the treatment of coronary heart disease by advancing conventional bypass surgery. Founded by med-tech entrepreneur Manny Villafana, CABG is developing the Holly Graft System, designed to treat blockages in multiple coronary arteries from a single graft.

• Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp; Burlington, North Carolina) reported entering into a new $350 million senior credit facility with Credit Suisse First Boston and UBS Securities, acting as co-lead arrangers, and a group of seven other financial institutions. The new facility consists of a five-year revolving credit facility in the amount of $350 million.

The new facility will be used for general corporate purposes, including working capital, capital expenditures, funding of share repurchases and other payments and acquisitions, the company said. Epicept's previous credit agreements, under which no loans were outstanding, were terminated upon the closing of the new facility.

LabCorp reported 2003 annual revenue of $2.9 billion in 2003.

The company is a provider of more than 4,400 clinical assays, ranging from blood analyses to HIV and genomic testing, and it says it is “the first in its industry to embrace genomic testing.“

• HEI (Minneapolis) said it has amended its accounts receivable agreement with Beacon Bank to increase its borrowing limit from $4 million to $5 million. Mack Traynor, HEI president and CEO, said that the increased credit line “will help augment HEI's liquidity as it continues to pursue net sales growth over the course of fiscal 2005.“

HEI develops microelectronics, systems, subsystems, connectivity and software solutions for OEMs engaged in the medical equipment and medical device, hearing, communications and RFID industries.

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